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Archive for the ‘Crimson Romance’ Category

9781440573422Quinn is an artist who has lost her way in life.  Divorced because she cannot have children, she feels she is broken.  Moving back to her hometown of Scallop Shores, she is looking to reconnect with the family she’d pushed away years ago, and rediscover her purpose in life.  Jonah is the town handyman and a doting single dad to Lily, a precocious 4 year old.  He wants so much more for his little girl, but it’s hard to find a well-paying job when you’ve never learned to read. Tragedy forces the two into a close arrangement and Jonah finally works up the nerve to share his secret with Quinn.  She’ll teach him to read, and maybe, just maybe two lonely, broken adults and one little girl who believes in them both, will become the family they all need.

 

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I Believe

I keep a tiny pewter fairy on my writing desk to remind me of the innocence and wonder that is such a huge part of childhood.  When I look at it I think of Lily, the precocious little tot in Drawn to Jonah.  Lily’s love of fairies is the glue that binds her to Quinn and eventually helps Quinn to rediscover her passion for sketching.

This little fairy statue also reminds me of my own daughter, and her fascination with the world of fairies.  A few years ago a neighbor turned us on to a class given at the local nursery on how to build a fairy garden.  I found it especially interesting that there were more women than little girls in attendance.

My daughter set her fairy garden box up in the front yard, where it would get plenty of sun.  We spent a small fortune on fairy-size accessories, sure to draw fey crowds from far and near.  She made pathways and houses, swings and furniture.  She envisioned the most elaborate celebrations going on at night – because that is when the fairies come out to play!

With the help of some fun-loving neighbors, I did my part to help fuel these childhood fantasies.  We’d take turns sprinkling glitter (fairy dust), rearranging furniture and causing general mischief.  We would even leave behind special little trinkets, like pretty shells, marbles, rose petals or a length of fancy ribbon.  My daughter was convinced it was the fairies’ way of thanking her for her hospitality, and how they were making this garden their own little retreat.

This year saw a decline in my daughter’s interest in her fairy garden.  I have to say I wasn’t as diligent in remembering to “cause mischief” each night.  But I am grateful for the memories we have made over the last three years.  I have kept all my daughter’s fairy sketches, just as I am sure Jonah keeps Lily’s.  Being able to share in this childhood ritual has put me in touch with my own inner child.  There is a whole world of excitement and wonder if we can just remember to keep our eyes and hearts open.  I’ll always believe in fairies.

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For more information about Jennifer, visit:

http://www.pinterest.com/mzdecuir/boards/

And for a chance to win a Kindle or Nook format copy of Drawn to Jonah, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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TheBargainCoverTomboy Shannon Mahoney has always been a lot more comfortable with things like power tools than she is with high heels or lipstick, and she often wishes she could reinvent herself and finally tell her perfect boss, Drew Kingston, that she has had a crush on him since high school.  But she is just as tongue tied and awkward around him now as she ever was, and long-familiar patterns are hard things from which to break free…

Until one day Drew’s estranged older brother Michael comes to town, bringing with him a surprising opportunity for Shannon.

Ladies’ man Michael is a former bad boy looking for redemption.  He is desperate to atone for past mistakes that he made with his family, but younger brother Drew has cut him out of his life and refuses to even speak to him.  Which means Michael needs help getting to Drew.

And so he approaches Shannon with a proposition:  if she will get Drew to agree to hear him out, Michael will mentor Shannon in how to win his brother’s heart.  Suspicious of Michael’s motives, Shannon initially enters into the bargain just to make sure Michael isn’t actually in town to cause trouble for Drew, but the two unlikely allies are surprised to discover that despite butting heads at first, they are beginning to enjoy each other’s company far more than either of them expected.

And Shannon starts to realize that maybe love isn’t about reinventing yourself after all.  It’s about finding your perfect match.

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Isn’t It Romantic—Or…Could It Be the Death of You?

            You might think that, as someone who writes romances, I would be prone to seeing opportunities for romance all around me in real life, too.  And I am…to a certain extent.  Problem is, I also like to write things like suspense and even the occasional sinister ghost story.  Which means I have just as great a tendency to see the potential for harm in even the most innocent of situations.

What can I say?  I’m an author.  We’re a disturbed people.

So it makes it hard for me to plan elaborate romantic scenarios for my husband and me even though—in theory—I think date night is a wonderful idea.  Maybe you do, too.  If so, I feel it is my solemn duty to make you aware of some potential pitfalls you may not have anticipated.  Consider these examples:

 

  • Go for a horse and carriage ride through the park.  Surely you’re joking.  Didn’t you see that Seinfeld episode?  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, Google it, please.  For your own protection.
  • Pass secret love notes in the library.  Very romantic—until your love notes inadvertently get intercepted either by a militant librarian who shames you in front of the whole library…or by a secret government operative who mistakes your love-talk for an enemy agent’s code.  Hey, it could happen.
  • Take a leisurely stroll through the woods, hand-in-hand.  According to modern cinema, this is every axe murderer’s dream scenario.  At least promise me you’ll bring pepper spray.  Or a taser.
  • Meander along back roads without any particular destination in mind.  Uh huh.  Then your GPS breaks down, your car gets a flat tire, and three days later Search and Rescue workers find you and your sweetie battling it out over who gets to gorge themselves on that lone Tic Tac you discovered in the back of the glove compartment.  Few relationships survive this kind of thing.
  • Share an ice cream cone on a scorching summer day.  Certain people may be a tad possessive over their ice cream cones and turn feral if anyone else tries to take a bite.  My husband has the scars to prove it.
  • Go for a midnight swim in a lake.  Nothing good EVER lives at the bottom of a lake.  Don’t you ever go to the movies?
  • Go singing/dancing in the rain.  Concerned onlookers will likely call 911, and police will gently escort you to the psychiatric ward of the nearest hospital.
  • Walk barefoot in the park.  Um…not everybody cleans up after their dogs when they walk them, you know.
  • Kidnap your special someone from work.  A coworker gets the wrong idea, makes a call, and WHAMO!—a SWAT team tackles you in the parking lot.
  • Sign up for a sculpting class together.  Sure it was romantic in Ghost.  But it didn’t turn out so well in Naked Gun, did it?  And who’s going to clean up the mess, I ask you?  Who?

 

I hope these examples have given you reason to think twice before diving willy-nilly into something reckless like a moonlit picnic or any other hazardous activities with your special someone.  Take my advice:  just stay in, curl up on the couch together, and read a good book.  Like, say…The Bargain, a delightful contemporary romance featuring a socially-awkward tomboy and the reformed ladies’ man she just might sweep off his feet.  No, really, it’s delightful.  My mother said so.

And in the meantime…let’s all be very careful out there.

 

About the author:

E15Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and, to her great delight, she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts—and has even won a couple of them.  In 2012 one of her screenplays was featured as a staged reading in New York City at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival, and later that same year she signed her first publishing contract for her debut novel, Coming Home, with a second one to follow this summer.  When she is not writing, she is teaching kindergarten, puttering around in her garden, ballroom dancing with her husband, or doing research for her next project.  Please visit her at her website http://christinesfeldman.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChristineSFeldman.

 

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For a chance to win a digital copy of The Bargain, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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TrustingAgainImagine Cynthia Blaine’s surprise when she walks into the bar at the Heathman Hotel in Portland Oregon and sees the man she’s been trying to forget for weeks after he commissioned an expensive piece of her jewelry for “a friend’s birthday.” There was no point fantasizing about him. He was taken.

But over a cup of coffee, he convinces her to give this relationship a try. Marius woos her on a sailing trip through the San Juan Islands and their romance seems on solid grounds. But during his six-week business trip to Central America, Cynthia gets a shock. And when she goes to Portland to pour out her heart to her best friend, she has another shock—Marius, in Portland, not where he said he would be and with another woman.

It’ll take more than a good cup of coffee this time to get Cynthia and Marius to their happily-ever-after.

 

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(Cynthia) was wire-wrapping a bead when the bell on the door rang, indicating someone had come into the gallery. Looking up, she was so distracted by the gorgeous man walking toward her that she poked herself with the silver wire she was using, drawing blood. That’s how she greeted him, sucking on her finger to make it stop bleeding.

He removed the sunglasses she couldn’t imagine he needed in March in Seattle, took command of her gaze with his espresso brown eyes, smiled and said, “I’m looking for Cynthia Blaine. That wouldn’t be you, by any chance, would it?”

The smile alone made her knees wobble. Add the brown eyes and handsome face and she wasn’t sure she could trust herself to speak. So she just nodded.

“I’m Marius Hernandez.” He put out his hand to her.

She took it after wiping her hand off on a wet rag to get rid of the blood and saliva and trying to alter what she was afraid was the expression of some teen-aged groupie who’d run into Justin Bieber. His big hand enveloped hers, making her wish the handshake could last for hours, maybe days.

“I’m looking for a specific piece of your work. For a gift.”

Please God. Make it a gift for his mother, his niece, a sister. Anyone but a wife.

“I have a friend who’s about to celebrate a significant birthday,” he continued, “and I want to give her the necklace she admired when she was in here recently.”

Damn it, a her. Nice going, God. Technically you gave me what I asked for—he isn’t buying it for his wife. Remind me to be more specific next time when I ask you for something.

“Tell me what the piece looks like,” she said.

“A big necklace. It looked like a collar, she said. Four or five inches wide. Fastens in the back. Silver wire with crystals and rubies woven into it. My friend said it looked like something a princess would wear.”

“Ah, my favorite Cleopatra collar. It just sold a couple days ago.”

“Can you make another just like it?”

“Actually, I don’t make duplicates. But I have one I’m working on with clear glass and pearly glass beads that’s similar. Might that work?”

“Glass? I thought—she thought—my friend thought—they were gems.”

“Nope, all glass. Here, let me show you the piece I’m talking about.”

He loved the piece and didn’t argue about the price. After leaving his business card with his email and office phone number so she could call him when it was ready, he left.

She stood staring at the card for a few minutes. The sale was great, but knowing where to contact him wasn’t going to do her much good personally. Not when he was spending serious money on a girlfriend’s birthday present. With a sigh, she went back to her wire wrapping. That old saw was right. All the good ones are taken.

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To find out more about Peggy Bird and her books, visit www.peggybirdwrites.com. And for a chance to win a digital copy of Trusting Again, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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FinalImageBTRmediumA forbidden love affair in the past has led Hope Robinson, a middle school principal, to Harbor Bay, Florida, where she commits herself to play by the rules. This can be difficult for a perpetual klutz, who—even strapped in a cast—has to uphold a competent attitude at all times.

 

Luckily, she has Dr. Colin Calaway on her side, a widower and father of a student, who is ready to give love another try. When Colin convinces Hope they should explore the connection between them, a steamy romance develops, though it could destroy them both. They must decide if their jobs—and their hearts—are worth the risk.

 

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Today is release day – July 8! The heroine in Breaking the Rules, Hope, loves special days. She’s nerdy that way. So, what better post to celebrate Hope and July 8 then to share some random holidays?

 

July 8 is … Be a Kid Day! Woo hoo! How appropriate, since Hope is a middle school principal. She loves kids and spends every day with them. How does she celebrate being a kid? Acting like one – especially on the Family Sports Morning in the book when she and Colin partner together in relay races – getting tangled up in the fun!

 

July 8 is … the day Paris was found! July 8, 951 A.D. Nothing more romantic than Paris, right? Hope has a bucket list that Colin helps out with – guess which city she needs to visit? Yep! Paris.

 

July 8 is … Video Games Day. (Shhh… don’t tell my sons!) As an educator, Hope really doesn’t condone video games, but she knows Colin’s son, Jason, loves Xbox. So, she may invest herself into playing a few games with him when no one else is looking.

 

July 8 is … Hottie actor Kevin Bacon’s birthday. Yes, Hope knows this. She’s been a big fan ever since she watched Footloose in high school.

 

July 8 is … National Chocolate with Almonds Day. I had to include this one – I mean, it has chocolate! Hope loves chocolate like any smart heroine would.

 

July 8 is … In 2011, Red Sox’s designated hitter, David Ortiz, better known as Big Papi, led a bench-clearing brawl with Kevin Gregg from Baltimore Orioles. They were both suspended for four games. How do I know this fact? Hope is a huge Red Sox fan – to Colin’s dismay.

 

But the most important fact about JULY 8 is it’s release day for Breaking the Rules! Come and meet Colin and Hope, an adorable couple who help each other to break the rules and risk their hearts.

 

MelindaAuthorMelinda Dozier lives in Guatemala, Central America, with her husband, three boys and German Shepherd.  She enjoys being the queen of her household and dreams of being pampered fully by her boys once they’re grown. Learn more about her at www.melindadozier.com.

You can also find Melinda on twitter at www.twitter.com/melindadozier or Facebook at www.facebook.com/melindadoz

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GIVEAWAY!

Melinda is giving away an ecopy of Breaking the Rules and winners choice of a Yankees or Red Sox baseball cap through her tour wide giveaway. Winners must enter via Rafflecopter and will be chosen on July 27.

(Click the banner below to enter)

BTR-Book-Tour-Banner_128

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RetributionCalled to the homicide of a Dallas criminal lawyer, Detective Remy LeBeau stares at a scene that drags him back into his past. To another murdered lawyer in New Orleans. A case that put Remy on a collision course with death.

 

Cody Lewis struggles with the horrific memories of her kidnapping and the need to numb the pain. The battle she puts up causes her to avoid Remy and their undetermined relationship. But the flashbacks and nightmares are proving more potent than Cody thought and she’s having a harder time resisting the cravings for alcohol.

 

As the case takes a turn in revealing a professional assassin is behind the death, Remy begins to make decisions that could cost him his job and Cody. Because the deeper he sinks, the closer the enemies of his past come to finding him.

 

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While writing my second book, Retribution, two things happened. First, I discovered some astonishing secrets that were hidden deep within two of my secondary characters. Number two thing, I had beta readers screaming for me to start writing books on those characters because they fell madly in love with them. Well, I did too, and I’m the creator. For me, as with most authors, characters are like real people and they speak to me, and sometimes kind of like the way my teenage kids do, like smart aleks.

 

I love it when secondary characters take on a life of their own and add to the layers or flavor of the story. They can either irritate the main characters to no end, or enhance their personalities. For both of my main characters they have a cast of secondary characters lined up behind them that bring out a different aspect in both. But for this post I’ll focus on just two of them.

 

For my hero, Detective Remy LeBeau, it was his partner, Detective Heath Anderson. Heath showed up in my first book years after I created Remy. Eventually this good ole Texas boy began revealing bits and pieces of himself to turn him into a force to reckon with. He kept pushing and prodding into Remy’s life and past, hoping to crack that thick block of ice around Remy. I never understood why it was so important to Heath—well, I did from the aspect that most detective partners are like brothers, they rely on that protection to make it through the job. But it wasn’t until Heath finally connected with the other main character, Cody Lewis, that the flood gates opened up. I can’t give too much away, it would ruin Retribution for you, but let’s just say, what Heath was hiding I never saw it coming.

 

Then there was Cody’s longstanding best friend, Kimberly Anne Gregory. Kim has been in Cody’s life for as long as I’ve known Cody, but she didn’t step onto the story book stage until Retribution. Kim is a whirlwind, go-getter who loves life and brings out the feminine side of Cody. Yet Kim’s life is an enigma, but I knew one aspect of it for a long time—can’t tell ya, it’d blow the secret. Oddly enough, I never planned this, but the moment Kim and Heath met in Retribution, sparks flew. And well, I had a new romance starting to bud within the main arc for Cody and Remy’s story. Because of this, I got hammered with: “You better write a book for Heath and Kim.”

 

Ha ha, I actually do have a story for them, but book 3 needs to release first.

 

I’m not the first and nor will I be the last author to have readers beg to see books for their favorite secondary characters. I’ve been getting requests for books for some secondary characters from my first book, Relentless. And believe me, I do have some general ideas for books for most of my secondary characters.

 

Now the question remains: How far will this secondary cast take my book series? I hope for a while longer.

 

About the author:

WinterAustinWinter Austin was once asked by her husband if he could meet some of the people who took residence in her head. She warned they weren’t all characters he wanted to meet, as killers walked among them. Needless to say, that conversation ended abruptly.

 

A lifelong Mid-West gal, Winter swears she should have been born in the South, Texas or Louisiana preferably. But then she’d miss the snowy winters.

 

Dividing her day between her four children and their various activities, a growing pet population, and her Beta-with-Alpha-tendencies Hero, Winter manages to find time to write chilling thrillers between loads of laundry.

 

Don’t worry. You won’t find any of her mouthwatering culinary dishes poisoned. Unless you’re one of her fictional creations.

 

You can learn more about Winter Austin and her current and upcoming releases by visiting her website: http://www.winteraustin.com

Or her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/w.austin.degressofdarkness

 

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For the chance to win a digital copy of Retribution by Winter Austin, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

 

 

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ComingHomeCoverNo woman ever really forgets her first love. Callie Sorenson is no exception. Hers was tall, tanned, and—as her older brother’s best friend—completely off limits.

Danny McCutcheon.

It’s a name that Callie hasn’t spoken in years, even if the man to whom it belongs has never really been all that far from her thoughts. Or her heart. But now a twist of fate will bring her back to the childhood home she left behind years ago, and to the hometown boy for whom she secretly longed.

When her mother takes a bad fall and breaks her hip, Callie leaves the bright lights of New York City to fly back west and help with the rehabilitation. It’s a tense homecoming due to a long time estrangement between mother and daughter, and it drives Callie to confront both a painful personal loss and her unanswered questions about the father who abandoned her when she was just a child.

It also brings her face to face with Danny again, and Callie quickly realizes that old feelings die hard.

But for Danny, it’s new feelings that are a problem. Callie is not the young girl he remembers but a woman now, and a very desirable one. They both have reasons to fight the growing attraction between them, but the temptation may just prove to be too much to resist, despite some very real risk to their hearts. The past casts a long shadow over the future, though, and Callie will have to overcome it or else face losing the one man who means the most to her.

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There’s an aura of glamour around the writing industry, isn’t there?  Especially the romance writing industry.  One tends to picture bon-bons and champagne.  And for all we know, maybe things like that really are staples in the lives of the top names in the business.  For the vast majority of writers, though…

 

Meh.  Not so much.

 

Most of the writers I know have to keep their day jobs to pay those pesky bills.  Man, creditors can be such sticklers, can’t they?  My day job involves runny noses, lots of Clorox wipes, and the occasional lack of control over bodily functions.

 

Hmm, you wonder…triage nurse perhaps?

 

Nope.  Kindergarten teacher.  And by the way, it’s the kids who occasionally experience a loss of control over their bodily functions, not me.  Not yet, at least.

 

Now I know what you’re thinking:   Awww!  Kindergarteners are cute!  And it’s true, they are.  Without even trying to be.  But it’s also true that life in a kindergarten classroom is the polar opposite of “glamour.” Here are some examples of what I mean:

 

Glamour:  expensive lacy undergarments handmade in Italy

Kindergarten:  small boy dangling soiled Spiderman underwear and saying, “I pooped my pants.”

 

Glamour:  the graceful swipe of an elegant fountain pen and the beauty of calligraphy combining to create a love note that is then sealed with a kiss

Kindergarten:  the removal of yet another crayon from up a nose

 

Glamour:  strawberries dipped in chocolate

Kindergarten:  gummy bears and animal crackers

 

Glamour:  glittering diamonds and ropes of pearls

Kindergarten:  “Look, teacher, I found a marble in the toilet!”

 

(It’s funny how many of my interactions with students seem to end with the sentence, “Okay, now please go wash your hands.”)

 

So this writer’s life, at least, is not all that glamorous.  Maybe that’s why I prefer to write stories about regular, everyday sorts of people instead of jetsetters and high society folks—not because they’re better but because I can identify with them more.  Coming Home is a story about two people just like that:  Callie Sorenson, who made a bold choice to strike out on her own when she was just eighteen and pursue her dreams…but still struggles with a deep, personal loss; and Danny McCutcheon, the best friend of Callie’s older brother and the man for whom she’s carried a secret torch since she was a teenager.  They both have issues in their pasts to overcome, issues that may not drip with glamour but do feel very much real-world and leave you rooting for a happy ending.

 

And in the end, maybe glamour is overrated anyway.  Because no matter how dazzling two dozen red roses might be from the local florist’s shop, they don’t hold a candle to a single wildflower offered to you by a shy, little lisping kindergartener.

 

Know what I mean?

 

Excerpt

It was clear that she didn’t want to be here. She sat stiffly in her seat and looked everywhere else around the sports bar but at him.

“You can pretend to watch that baseball game if you want to,” he said dryly, opening up his menu and looking it over, “but don’t think for a minute that I’m buying it.”

“What?” she returned. “Maybe I like baseball now. For all you know, I could be the Yankees’ biggest fan.”

“Fine,” he said without looking up. “Then tell me what a ground rule double is.”

She mulled it over. “Oh, shut up,” she muttered finally.

He grinned at her then, unable to help himself, and she reddened.  But she smiled a little, too.  He felt a sweet stab of pleasure at the sight and told himself not to ruin things by saying anything else.

Their waitress stopped by their table and turned her attention immediately to Danny. “Ready to order?”

“Steak,” Danny said. “Medium rare.”

“The same,” Callie echoed. “And a side order of onion rings.”

“Anything to drink?”

“A beer.” He glanced at Callie.

“Make that two.”

The waitress upped the wattage of her smile, and Danny returned it politely but only for a moment, and she left.  “Quite the appetite,” he observed.  “I remember you as more of a soup and salad kind of person.”

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me anymore.”

“I suppose so. It’s a little unnerving.”

“Really?”

“Don’t look so pleased.”

She smiled again, and he felt a little more of the tension between them melt away.

“So tell me,” he asked, careful to keep his voice casual, “what else don’t I know about you now?”

Their waitress delivered their beers and the onion rings, smiling coyly at Danny again. “Anything else I can get you?”

“Thanks,” Callie said with a pointed stare.  “We’re good now.”  She waited until the other woman left before answering Danny’s question.  “Hmm. Let me think…I’m unemployed now.”

He nearly choked on his first swallow of beer.  “What?”

She shrugged in an apparent lack of concern and sampled an onion ring.  “My choice.  I’ll find something else when I’m ready.”

“When you’re ready?”  He thought he felt his blood pressure rise on the spot.  Did she not have a practical bone in her body?  “Callie, jobs aren’t just—”

“Have an onion ring,” she interrupted, thrusting one into his open mouth.

“Callie—”

“And don’t talk with your mouth full. It’s rude.”

How could she make him want to shake her and laugh with her at the same time?  He considered himself to be a laid-back sort of person, but she brought out tension in him that he hadn’t even known existed.  No one else made him worry quite like she did.

She took a drink and leaned back in her chair.  “What else…I’m addicted to salsa.”

“The condiment?”

“The dance. Oh, and I’ve been mugged a couple of times.”

“You were mugged?  Why didn’t you tell anybody?”

“Oh, come on.  You haven’t truly experienced New York City until you’ve been mugged,” she said.  “And I’ve got a tattoo, a pimp, and a coke habit, too.”

“What?”  He watched as a wicked grin spread across her face, and his eyes narrowed.  “You little sadist.  Was any of that true, or was it all BS?”

“The tattoo part was true.”

Picking up his beer, he put it to his lips to stop himself from asking where the tattoo was. Bad enough that images were already popping into his mind of inked artwork in intimate places…

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

For more information, visit christinesfeldman.com. And for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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